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Tool Chest Refurb #4: Skirts are for Tool Chests

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Blog entry by Smitty_Cabinetshop posted 07-20-2012 09:28 PM 4486 reads 1 time favorited 60 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Back to Square One Part 4 of Tool Chest Refurb series Part 5: Everything Below the Lid »

I need four sides of skirting for dovetailing in a way opposite the main body of the chest. As in, tails are cut into the face board of the main chest, but will get cut into the side boards of the skirt, to counteract each other and increase overall stability. I’m only able to get the bottom skirting entirely from my blue board:

- Two long boards, front and back
- Two short sides

I want the blue and/or weathered edges to be ‘up,’ and cut edge down on these boards, and each rip of the blue stuff yields a long and short skirt blank. We’ll see what’s left of ‘ole Blue after that. Last question before I can cut wood: How wide (high?) should the lower skirt of this chest be? Here’s what I know:

- I plan on putting this chest on wheels that extend about an inch below the bottom skirt. In other words, the bottom skirt will extend beyond the bottom of the chest by 1 1/2”. Why? It’s the original chest I want to see more of when all is said and done, not my additions. So less is essentially more when it comes to these skirt boards. That said, the bottom piece will be the widest.
- The upper skirt will match up with the lid skirt, and I don’t want the some of those parts, when the lid is closed, to make the chest appear top heavy. A certain width is required, though, due the hinges being set where they are.

I got my copy of The Anarchist’s Tool Chest back from Dad (he had stalled in his reading, not a hand tool guy) and found his lower skirt was six inches, upper was only wide enough for a single dovetail. That was a good touchstone, but of course his toolchest is much larger overall. So anything I get that approaches 6” is good. 

What I can’t get over is the 3/4” thickness of a lower skirt. Three-quarter inch stock sticks out very proud from the chest, and it’s not attractive at all to my eye. It’s not a perfect reference pic, but here’s the chest w/ such material underneath and up the edges.

When I stood those corners up alongside the chest, they were simply too thick. So I’ll reduce them via lunchbox planer to something less, for sure. Over to the blue board, then, to mark and cut it into pieces. I do want the top edges of the lid and bottom skirt boards to be painted edges, so I’ll orient the cuts with that in mind. No pictures of ripping ‘ole blue, but I used the table saw and have enough left to do the upper (or mid) band board on the carcase, I think.

Then I went the easy way and used the lunchbox planer to thin the skirts boards to something around 5/8” vs. the 7/8” it started out as… How about some actual woodworking now? I started on the left side as I faced the carcase, with the bottom skirt board cut at rough length. I marked the board for the width of chest, then added the thickness of the front and back skirts to each mark. Sorry these pics aren’t intuitive… I can’t recall the order they should be in, but they do convey the degree to which I attempted to mark the skirt boards to fit snug.

Dovetailed the back end, repeated the process for the back skirt, but started by setting the marking gauge.

Used the Diamond Edge to cut the tails, no lines to follow. Just an angle I felt was right, and one I could repeat.

The waste was cut with a coping saw, then cleaned up with the SW #750 re-issues. Here’s my setup for chopping waste on this project:

Then transferred the tails to the pin board via marking knife.

Ready to clean the pin board.

!!

And I love a picture of a workbench in use!

Fit check!

Looks good.

So through the magic of the internet I was able to complete the second front corner and was ready then to mark the side boards and back skirt board for length cuts… Only one chance to do this right, so lots of clamps per the Schwarz’ instructions and a picture tells the tail.

The skirt will extend past the bottom of the chest an inch and a half to help hide the wheels I’ll add later. Here’s a solid aluminum break manifold for a QF-106 that I used for a gauge; it happens to be exactly 1 1/2” thick!

Finished all dovetail corners, and prepared the four sided skirt for a look!

And here it is on the floor of the shop, with the remaining blue board ready for the next upper skirt.

So I’ve got to get said skirting attached permanently, then cut, dovetail and attach the upper (mid) skirt using the blue board that remains. Oh! Something else missing, you say? A lid? Hasn’t that been the problem since we started this journey? : – ) I guess a lid is also on the agenda, then! As always, thanks for looking.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive



60 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2338 days


#1 posted 07-20-2012 09:35 PM

nice addition… one skirt..I mean step at a time ;)

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

10054 posts in 1308 days


#2 posted 07-20-2012 09:37 PM

:-) I knew what you meant… Yeah, it’s going slower than I was hoping it would, but Shop is Hot… Half hour in there and I’m dripping wet, so it’s been an after hours affair to get anything done.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View JayT's profile

JayT

2418 posts in 901 days


#3 posted 07-20-2012 09:45 PM

If I say “nice skirt” are you going to hit me with your purse?

-- "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money." Alexis de Tocqueville, 1835

View Don W's profile

Don W

15245 posts in 1257 days


#4 posted 07-20-2012 09:58 PM

pretty nice Nancy. (its got to be nancy now you’ve got your skirt on).

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

10054 posts in 1308 days


#5 posted 07-20-2012 10:05 PM

Heck no, might break a (cut) nail!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

10054 posts in 1308 days


#6 posted 07-20-2012 10:05 PM

Focus, gents… :-)

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View Mosquito's profile

Mosquito

4837 posts in 982 days


#7 posted 07-20-2012 10:10 PM

looking good :-)

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN -- Stanley #45 Evangelist - www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4146 posts in 1546 days


#8 posted 07-20-2012 10:13 PM

Smitty,

Great to get this back the loop.

I’ve been waiting for the next

part.

I’m going to take your lead/example

on the skirt. I like your attention to detail

and it was you who noticed the fine detail

on my chest,

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4146 posts in 1546 days


#9 posted 07-20-2012 10:19 PM

Oh! Something else missing, you say? A lid?

Did you see on my chest lid, there is a iron

plate around the top? It is drilled & countersunk

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Brit's profile

Brit

5220 posts in 1532 days


#10 posted 07-20-2012 10:19 PM

Fantastic blog Smitty. I really admire your tool skills and the care with which you’re restoring that old chest. Looking forward to the rest of the restoration.

-- Andy -- Old Chinese proverb say: If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

10054 posts in 1308 days


#11 posted 07-20-2012 10:20 PM

Jamie, I did not see that! Will have a re-look!

Thanks, Andy. That close-up of the DE was for you! :-)

Chris, all progress is good progress!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View ShaneA's profile

ShaneA

5351 posts in 1288 days


#12 posted 07-20-2012 10:51 PM

Nice update Smitty, the chest is looking better and more sturdy with every update. Are you planning to leave all freshly made cuts with exposed grain as they are, or is there a way to blend them/age them a bit?

View Kookaburra's profile

Kookaburra

748 posts in 914 days


#13 posted 07-21-2012 12:09 AM

Looking very nice. I was wondering about the finish on the new cuts also.

Each time I scroll down a bit more on this blog, all I can think is “there is no way he is going to make that work” – and then you do! This is better than a serialized television show!

-- Kay - Just a girl who loves wood.

View SamuelP's profile

SamuelP

755 posts in 1336 days


#14 posted 07-21-2012 01:59 AM

Great story once again.

Off topic – what did you use to countersink your dog holes?

Thank you.

-- -Sam - Tampa, FL- "A man who carries a cat by the tail learns somthing he can in no other way" -Mark Twain

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

10054 posts in 1308 days


#15 posted 07-21-2012 03:29 AM

Off Topic – A router. It’s the last time I used a router…

Shane and Kay – not sure re: aging the ends and new cuts. But know that it will get worse before it gets better, because the entire lid will be different. So I’m kicking that can down the road as something I only have one board’s worth of control over at this point. Stay tuned, I guess…

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

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